A HOSPICE is taking over Festival Place in a bid to raise more awareness of what they do.

The North Hampshire branch of St Michael’s Hospice, based in Basingstoke, is taking part in the national Hospice Care Week, a campaign aiming to highlight what hospices do and how they work.

The team have a stand next to Debenhams inside the shopping centre, whilst they also have a projection on a 23-foot wall and have adverts on the screens and on the wall.

It's part of the 'What it Takes' campaign, aiming to show more about their work behind closed doors.

Speaking to the Gazette, Chief Executive Iain Cameron said that he was excited about how the week has gone so far.

“We’re running a campaign with them called ‘What It Takes’ which aims to highlight what we do each year in providing our services and talking about facts and figures that people probably don’t realise goes into hospice care and providing our services.

“For us, one of the highlights has been partnering with Festival Place, they’ve allowed us to take over the shopping centre for a week, project our animation onto a 23 foot wall and we’ve got our banners hanging from the wall, advertising throughout, posters in the lifts, it’s just been phenomenal and hopefully we’ve managed to reach a large proportion of local people to spread our word and spread our messages.”

Chris Griffiths, Head of Operations, added: “The main purpose of Hospice Care Week is to break down the barriers associated with hospices, and what people may perceive a hospice to be.

“We had a patient who was with us for over 10 years who came past us a while ago.

“It’s that association, people think that a hospice is somewhere you go in to die, but it’s way more than that.”

St Michael’s Hospice say that they give 43,062 hours of nursing care, have 11 stores selling 546,840 items, have 764 volunteers and 1,537 treatments from the complementary therapists every year.

These numbers and more are displayed in the presentation being projected on a 23-foot wall in Festival Place, with Marketing Manager Jill Livermore saying: “There’s so many elements that come together to deliver that care that you wouldn’t imagine, so it’s really nice to be able to show that to everyone around Basingstoke.”

To find out more, you can find the St Michael's Hospice team at Festival Place until Sunday.